CAMERON Brannagan relished the responsibility of sending Oxford United to Wembley by requesting the crucial fifth penalty in their shoot-out against Portsmouth.

Across 210 minutes of football the two sides could not be separated – the second leg at the Kassam Stadium mirroring Friday’s opening encounter by finishing 1-1.

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But Simon Eastwood’s save from Cameron McGeehan opened the door for Brannagan to be the hero and he took his chance with both hands to set up a final next Monday against Wycombe Wanderers.

The midfielder said: “I said I wanted the fifth penalty.

“It’s not just about the moment, but I totally believe in myself no matter what. I wanted the responsibility to take the lads to Wembley.

“We deserve it for this year, I want us to be successful and do great things.

“Moments like this don’t come along very often and they’re massive.

“They are times you’ve got to cherish, it’s huge us getting there and we need to finish the job.”

It was Brannagan’s 99th start for United and was the highlight of his career – but the midfielder hopes it is only his best moment in football for seven days.

He said: “We’ll work hard and focus on what we’ve got to do. We’ll be ready.”

It was the third shoot-out United have won this season, after beating Millwall and Sunderland in their run to the Carabao Cup quarter-finals.

Eastwood was delighted to have a big hand in another success and admitted he felt confident ahead of the climax.

The goalkeeper said: “If I’m being honest we’ve been doing a lot of penalty shoot-outs in training and I’ve never saved so many in my life, so I did fancy myself.

“It was nice I only had to save one and the lads were great with their penalties. It was a great night for us.”

The only pity was the dramatic finish was not accompanied by a roar from packed stands, but coronavirus measures meant U’s fans had to watch on television.

Eastwood said: “I’d love it be a full house, but it’s quite a strange situation.

“I’ve never been in this place before where you are a bit of a hero but you’ve only done half a job.

“If I’m being honest after the first leg you could have flipped a coin and it could have gone either way.

“To come out and save one is definitely up there in my career.”